I've been able to pick and poke at a couple of my short stories during this past week. Not much happened for new words, but lots of editing improvements were had during the hours at my keyboard. I've been able to sort of get a plan together for the next story to blog out, which will start November 5th if all goes well. Keep an eye here next week for the free downloads of Daion Echoes through Transglass. I hope you get to have a good weekend!
Trevor crouched to adjust her son’s jacket, making sure the brilliant green of the collar trimming complimented Lott’s eyes as well as she believed it should. She also checked that his shirt was staying tucked. The full-faced frown he directed at her was achingly similar to the expression his father wore every time she’d fussed about his appearance and she smiled to see the resemblance. This little boy in front of her was growing out of everything again and she hadn’t had time to shop for a new shirt after realizing this one was too small only an hour before they’d had to leave the house. If she’d known yesterday…
She never thought she’d one cycle live landside, but here she was, counting hours and days. Here we are, she corrected the thought and hugged her boy.
“Why do we have to do this right now?” Lott complained, making her smile as she released him and stood.
“Because this is the right day and time for coming to Dockland’s Memorial for the annual service,” Charlotte answered, frowning at the nephew who’d been named after him.
“Get that look off your face. My grandson is not the only Shandlie man in this family who complains about dressing up formally for services,” Dennis said, chastising her son. Charlotte quickly stopped fidgeting with his own collar. “I’m almost there. See you in a minute or two,” Dennis added. Charlotte disconnected the vid he was having with her before she could add anything else. Trevor shared an understanding smile with her brother before she looked down to once again to confirm her son was staying as dressed as he was supposed to be for the ceremony today.
“Mom! Look! I found Dad’s name!”
Trevor lifted her gaze to where their two daughters were standing with Leo. Their youngest girl, Tia, was pointing at the wall excitedly as the older one, Livy, attempted to dig the toe of her shoe into the stone and steel walkway around the tribute area of this memorial park.
“I would’ve found it first if your big head hadn’t been in the way,” Livy muttered.
“Neither of you would have found it if I hadn’t pointed out which panel to look at,” Leo said with a laugh and started herding both girls back toward the rest of the family.
“I’m surprised you even remembered where to look after all these solar years missing the annual service,” Lissa accused from where he was sitting on the nearby bench. His voice was pitched to sound condescending but the smile on his wrinkled face proved he was joking.
“I only missed the last one and you vidded me the whole thing,” Leo said.
“Need to make sure you remember how everything goes,” Lissa teased.
“I do recall all of it. I remember that Dockland entered atmosphere there and started breaking up” –he pointed up in one direction– “and then our lifeboat was safely and automatically ejected per my atmospheric entry requirements in that direction” –he arced his arm overhead– “meaning we landed –”
“Crashed,” Lissa interrupted with his usual correction to the story.
“Crashed way over there,” Leo finished, pointing toward the horizon in what was a horizontal, ninety degree angle from the elongated damage left behind from both Dockland and Shiner.
“Was it a scary crash, Dad?” Tia asked. Livy had been the one to ask in previous years, but she had the story memorized now and didn’t see the need.
“Terrifying. I was just lucky Granddad L was with me or I probably would have passed out from how scared I was.”
“Ha! Liar,” Lissa said. “Your dad was so excited to eject the control room out of that antique ship. I don’t think he even noticed the rest of Dockland and all of Shiner falling in flaming shrapnel and rubble around us.”
“That sounds about right for you,” Trevor agreed, tucking an arm around Leo’s waist and hugging him.
“You should have been there. You would have loved it,” Leo said, smiling at his wife.
“It also would have saved me those three additional days of worrying while Lockhead was scanning for life signs and recovering the few survivors along the wreckage path, half a continent away from where you two bolts were.”
“I’m still just glad I got my smart working and you answered my vid request before Granddad L had to start eating me. I don’t think he’d have stuck to just taking a leg. He was getting awfully hungry.”
Lissa clicked his teeth and then winked at his great-grandkids, getting them all giggling at once. Livy perched beside him on the bench and leaned her head onto his shoulder.
“What is wrong with you two?” Dennis declared the question toward her father and son-in-law as she hurried into the center of the group to start hugging everyone in reach. All three grandkids raced to get into reach of her, Lott’s shirt coming untucked in the process. “Nobody in this family eats anybody else. All these scanners and sensors and satellites all over every world and all of known space, nobody gets stranded,” she stated, finishing her usual tirade by beaming a smile around at all the adults while the kids stayed snuggled close to her. “See, Charlotte? See how good I look with grandkids? You two need to start adopting.” Charlotte rolled his eyes as his partner laughed.
The familiar tone sounded from Dockland’s old intercom system, signalling fifteen minutes until the start of services. The crowds around Dockland’s Memorial Walls of Crew Names drifted toward the hall where Coalition’s Public Face would be giving her guest speech in person this solar year. It wasn’t the first time Annise had been invited, but it was the first time in the eleven solar years on Daion Central World that had gone past – which counted as close to 12 standard years – where Senior Coalition had returned to a point of stability strong enough for her to be present.
It was fitting this was also the solar year her speech would include unveiling the memorial dedicated to Talleshen Os, Captain of Dockland, who had ensured Coalition history was not repeated where Daions were concerned. Captain Os had gone on to General a successful campaign ensuring first New Alliance Radicals and then Isolated Radicals were demilitarized, and all inciting persons brought before Senior Coalition members for the still ongoing trials. Captain Os’s son and grandchildren were already seated on the hall’s central dais.
Leo waved toward where Mollin was standing by Captain’s family and already looking up to where Leo and Trevor would be sitting. Mollin had been watching for them and now grinned and waved back, pointing out the Shandlie family to Annise when she questioned who he was greeting. Public Face also smiled and waved.
“Exploration Captain’s stripes look good on his shoulders,” Trevor noted, watching Mollin on the large holoscreen above the dais after they were done with the distance greetings. They had plans for dinner together before Mollin had to go shipside again. It was a visit they were all looking forward to. Leo and Trevor hadn’t seen Mollin in person since he’d signed on under Os and gone shipside on Lockhead right after Daion reestablishment.
“I think he likes it a bit too much that he was made Lockhead’s Captain, though. I’m surprised anyone but Os trusts him around that much ordinance,” Leo replied quietly, making her chuckle as she nodded agreement.
“We can blame Annise if he turns completely evil and tries to take over the galaxy,” she murmured.
They found their seats as Charlotte reached the dais. He greeted Public Face and her selected personnel, welcoming them personally from his position as Daion Voice prior to the speeches and services starting.
“It’s hard to think this all happened eleven solar years and three kids ago,” Leo added as they got their children settled, gesturing widely.
The crashed portions of Dockland and Shiner hadn’t been removed from the wreckage sites, the trail of destruction had instead been preserved and converted over the solar years into hiking paths and multiple memorial gardens and buildings. This main hall, seating tens of thousands, had been constructed by integrating the largest debris. Hanging, protruding, scorched and twisted sections of hulls and decks permeated the walls and floors.
“Four kids,” Trevor corrected him.
“Pretty sure we only have one, two, three,” Leo said, pointing at Livy, Tia, and Lott’s heads as he counted each kid.
“Four,” Trevor added, pointing at her belly. Their girls groaned in unison about another baby coming. Lott looked up at his sisters in confusion before silently staring at his parents with a clear demand for one of them to explain.
“What?” Leo asked Trevor, momentarily shocked. Then his usual grin pulled up the corners of his lips. “You’re pregnant?”
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!